The NHL lockout hasn't stopped some of the league's best young players, such as Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins, from putting up huge offensive numbers for teams in overseas leagues.
While some players are overseas to stay in shape or make some more money, many young NHLers are earning valuable experience that will benefit them tremendously when the work stoppage ends and they return to North America.
Let's look at three young stars doing very well in European hockey leagues during the lockout.
Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins
The Bruins' forward has been playing very well of late for EHC Biel in Switzerland. Through 15 games this season, Seguin has 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 total points.
Seguin is one of three Bruins playing in Switzerland (Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly are the other two), and from a statistical standpoint he's doing the best out of the group.
Boston needs Seguin to continue improving defensively this season, but it's unlikely that he makes a substantial improvement in that area of his game in Switzerland where the style of play isn't as physical as the NHL.
However, his offensive performances have been very encouraging to the Bruins and their fans. Last week, he scored four goals in one game for EHC Biel.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues fans should be pleased with the progress that their team's top prospect has made playing in the KHL during the lockout.
Vladimir Tarasenko has scored 13 goals with 10 assists for 23 total points in just 13 games for St. Petersburg SKA.
His goal scoring has been quite impressive overseas and that's a good sign for the Blues because this is the area of his game that will have the most impact on the team this season.
Head coach Ken Hitchcock needs another sniper who can score against opposing team's best defensemen, and there's a strong chance that Tarasenko will be able to satisfy this need when the NHL season finally begins.
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks star Logan Couture is currently playing for Geneve Servette of the National A League in Switzerland during the lockout.
Through 15 games, Couture has scored seven goals with 14 assists for 21 total points. His playmaking ability has been fantastic in Switzerland, and this is good news for the Sharks because Couture will likely be the team's No. 1 center in the near future.
Couture has the ability to be a point-per-game player in 2012-13, and will be play a vital role in the Sharks' chances of making another Stanley Cup run.
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars winger is an underrated player, but that could change if young star Jamie Benn helps lead his team to the NHL playoffs for the first time this season.
He is currently playing for the Hamburg Freezers in Germany during the work stoppage, and has scored six goals with six assists in 11 games.
Playing overseas is a bit of a risk for Benn, who is still a restricted free agent. When the lockout ends, expect Benn to receive a rich long-term contract because he's the most important part of the Stars' future.
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